Get enough daily fruits and vegetables

Discover ways to consume fruit and vegetable daily requirements.

Eating six to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily can be done. The key is to be open to trying new ways to prepare fruits and vegetables.

For example, use seasonings and herbs you have not tried before. Think of different ways to use them. You can include fruits and vegetables combined as salads, or as combinations like cobblers made with rhubarb and berries.

Children from infancy through adolescence are more receptive to trying new foods. Some suggestions for including more fruits and vegetables in diets of youth include:

  • Make meals with your children. Children are more willing to try new foods when they have a hand in preparing the meal.
  • Make food people. Make it fun and interesting. Create sheep out of cauliflower, pretzels and raisins; it’s cute and fun, thereby urging children to give them a try. Tell a story about little sheep wandering in the grassy fields. Be creative!
  • Add fruits with vegetables such as carrots, raisins and low-fat vanilla yogurt for a tasty salad.

It may take children several times to adapt to a new food. You might have to try different combinations as there may be certain fruits and vegetables that children may never like.

If children are resistant to trying new foods, ask them to have a, “no thank you taste.” This involves having them try one small bite, which at least affords the opportunity to try a new food rather than just saying “no.”

Try the following two recipes with your family which will help include healthy fruits and vegetables into daily meals:

Fruit and vegetable caterpillar

Ingredients

Green grapes, halved (body)

Strawberries (head)

Carrots (pieces for feet)

Stick pretzels (antennae)

Snap peas (eyes)

Raisins (nose)

Direction: Assemble the caterpillar. Serve and enjoy.

Unique fruit and veggie salad

Chop or shred:

Broccoli

Carrots (shred)

Celery

Cauliflower

Craisins or raisins

Add: Lite tomato basil vinaigrette dressing

Directions: Combine, chill and serve.

Michigan State University Extension has trained health and nutrition staff that is available to answer questions related to food, nutrition and physical activity. MSU Extension offers a vast amount of information that contributes to healthy lifestyle’s, to achieve the goal to have healthier families and communities in Michigan.

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